Written by MHF blog contributor Caroline Meister
In this day and age, everything gets posted on social media, whether it’s what you had for dinner, who you’re dating, or if you’re having a bad day. Countless critics will tell you about how the media is ruining our society. I disagree with this; however, I do think an interesting (and horrible) new division of cyber-bullying has come out of it.
The concept of “sub-tweeting”, or talking badly about someone on social media without mentioning their name, has gained fame within the past two or three years. In my opinion, sub-tweeting is one of the worst aspects social media has to offer. Sure, we all get frustrated sometimes. We’re human beings! But there is no reason you should publish your frustrations towards someone else publicly on social media. Especially because nine out of ten times, the person you are tweeting about will see it (which may be your intention), whether they follow you or not. But Caroline…are you under the impression I can’t delete a tweet once I’ve had my say? Yes, you can, but there’s this really cool invention, called a screenshot, and anyone can take one, even if the tweet is only up for a second.
The problem with sub-tweeting is that even though you’re not mentioning the person by name, they usually know that tweet is about them. Sub-tweeting only makes a problem worse or creates a problem when there wasn’t one to begin with it. I’ve had it happen to me. A friend and I were fighting, but we made up…or so I thought. I went on Twitter a few minutes afterward and saw that she had tweeted that she was still upset with me. This made me confused and upset because she shared that feeling with her 700+ followers, but not with me.
I’m not perfect. I will admit to sub-tweeting on occasion, but I know it’s wrong and I’ve been actively trying to resist, especially because I know I wouldn’t want people sub-tweeting about me. Remember the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated. Instead of taking to social media, why don’t you write it down in a journal or type it in a word document? You could even rant to someone about it, as long as that person is a neutral third party. You’ll release the anger and frustration you have without hurting yourself or anyone else. This week, try to positively sub-tweet or not sub-tweet at all.
Here’s a thought. A challenge even! Over the next week (or make it a lifetime!) try to positively sub-tweet about someone. Maybe you have a great friend and you want the world to know it! Did you witness a recent act of kindness that deserves recognition? Let ’em have it! Or try this one…the next time you want to vent over social media, take a minute to think before you post. What are the repercussions of your actions? Is there more going on in this person’s life, that your comment could be enough to put them over the edge? Let’s be nice to one another.
Please share your comments below! Have you been a victim of subtweeting? Have you seen the negative effects of social media? Let’s work together to create a positive culture in our communities.